Don’t Get Burned by an Affiliate Program

Gather around, folks. It’s story time.

It was the middle of May, my niche website was doing well for itself. I was starting to see some traffic, making some moves in the industry.

I was contacted by a startup about doing some lead generation for them, and they offered $8 per lead. Hey, that sounded good to me as two of my highest traffic pages were directly related to their company. The developer (Tim) and I spoke on Skype twice (he had an English accent), and I thought we were going to work together to make some skrilla.


After a few weeks after dropping links, talking about a press release, and everything else that goes with that, I decided to check in on Tim to see how much traffic he was receiving from my website. No reply. Alright, that sucks, but I’ll give it a few days and check again.

No reply.

This man ghosted me like I was some lady that didn’t put out for him. And I never got paid.

Lessons learned

1. Don’t answer cold e-mails of people looking to get you into their affiliate program.

  • They won’t pay you.
  • Their program is trash.
  • There is no way for you to track what you’re providing.

I know this because it happened.

Don’t fuck with startup’s affiliate programs. Because they’re using some proprietary software that doesn’t even exist and you can’t check it.

There is a reason they’re contacting you. They’re probably desperate for some chump (das me) to take advantage of for a few weeks while they get free advertising.

2. Flat rate advertising only.

The next time some sideways startup contacts me looking to do some advertising, I’m going to do strict advertising. Some damn $300 a month up front for 30 days of banner ads, 3-month minimum all paid up front. Nonrefundable.

That takes the guesswork out of the equation.

3. Make them write their own advertisement

Although I never wrote anything for the advertisement, if it would have come down to anything besides including a link at the bottom of a page I would make them write their own copy. Why do their work for them?

Post inspired by my post in this thread on The Fastlane Forum

Big dawgs gotta get burned once

Also, fuck you, Tim.